In what is definitely a welcome development, Facebook has released a new update for its Messenger app. The update allows users to share their screen with other people they are in a video chat with. Facebook Messenger users can now share contents of their screen, including Photo gallery, settings, and other screen features they feel like sharing.
This feature has been added to allow screen sharing in one-on-on video chat, as well as sharing the screen with up to 8 participants in group video chats. Also, the screen sharing feature has been activated for Messenger Room, and can be used with up to 16 participants in the Messenger Room.
The feature, Facebook says, is being developed to work for up to 50 participants on its Messenger Room platform.
This update was released to cushion the restrictions encountered in video calling where users have to share the screen or put other participants through on some know-hows. The new update has been released for both Android and iOS. It is also available on the web platform.
For users to share their screen, they would have to update their Facebook Messenger app to the latest version. While the call is on-going, the participant will have to swipe up (from the lower part of the screen) to show other call options. On the new screen, the option to “Share Your Screen” will be tapped. Then, tap “Start Sharing”, followed by the “Start Broadcast” option.
As soon as the option to Start Broadcast is activated, user can then minimize the screen, and navigate through their device to share the content of their screen. To end Screen Sharing, user simply have to return to the video call interface, and stop screen sharing.
It is assumed that the many steps involved before sharing the screen, is in a bid to prevent excuses that might arise from users accidentally sharing their screen.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, video calling has been saving people from the need to make physical contacts, allowing many to connect with friends, family, associates, and colleagues.
While quite a number of the video calling platforms like Zoom and Skype have already implemented the screen sharing feature on their apps, Facebook Messenger is just joining the wagon. It is better late, than never.